Setting up any type of business is a cumbersome task. And a law firm is no exception.
It is a dream of a lot of people to be their own boss. Leaving your job and starting your law firm in Ontario is the most liberating thing to do. Unfortunately, you are not taught to start and operate a law firm in law school. There are hundreds of things you have to focus on. But do not worry, we are here to help you.
In this post, we have mentioned how you can start your own law firm in Ontario.
Have a Business Plan
The first thing you need to do to start your law firm is to have a business plan. Without this, you will only indulge yourself in problems, delays, and unforeseen expenses. The main purpose of having a business plan is to think about the problems that can arise during a business venture and how you can handle them.
Also, you will have to decide which area of law will you focus on such as civil rights law, bankruptcy law, corporate law, international law, health law, and so on. For instance, you can set your niche as a criminal lawyer and focus on DUI in Ontario and other related cases.
Moreover, there are other factors that require your attention. Do you have the knowledge, time, and resources to start your own firm? Can you market your firm? How much money do you expect to make?
Besides this, you will have to decide the structure of your firm. There are three options: incorporation, sole proprietorship, and partnership. Irrespective of the structure, law firms must comply with the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) rules. It is essential for you to acquire a certificate of authorization for operating the firm. Also, you must get the name of your firm approved by LSO.
Vision of Starting a Firm
It is extremely important to know what you want to do with your law firm. Is it because you are tired of working under someone or you are doing it to help people? You must decide what is more important for you. When it comes to vision, you have to make sure it is clear and measurable.
Bring a Team Together
Just like any other business, law firms also require a team to operate. You will need advisors and support staff to help provide exceptional services. For instance, you will need a bookkeeper to keep a record of your finances and maintain cash flow. Furthermore, you will require the services of the secretary and clerks. The support staff is also crucial for helping you support your practice.
Location of the Firm
This is a principal factor to consider when starting a law firm. The location of your firm has a vital role to play in the success of your business. That is why you have to be extremely careful when deciding the location. Depending on your budget, type of practice, personal convenience, and your target audience, choose an office space.
Buying or Starting from Scratch
Another crucial decision to make is whether to buy a firm or start your own. Both the options come with their own set of pros and cons. Buying an existing firm will be more expensive. However, you will get an existing infrastructure, a book of business, and a mentor.
On the other hand, with setting up your own firm, you can learn a lot of things. Though it will take time, it will still be worth it.
Focus on Software and Systems
When you decide to set up your law firm, there are a plethora of things you will require. You will need legal research tools, customer relationship management software, bookkeeping software, and precedents. With the help of precedents, you will be able to make documents for clients efficiently.
With a bookkeeping software, you can keep a record of all the inflows and outflows in a professional manner. LSO requires different types of reports. That is why you must acquire systems and software to make everyday operations easy.
Therefore, having a business plan and budget before starting a law firm is essential for your business. Before starting a firm, just check the guide by LSO on the internet. It is just to make sure you are following all the rules and regulations. By following these tips, you can start your law firm and turn your dream of being your own boss into reality.
Interesting related article: “What is a Startup?“